Friction stir welding (FSW) is a solid state welding process with potential advantages for aerospace and automotive industries dealing with light alloys. Self-reacting friction stir welding (SR-FSW) is one variation of the FSW process being developed at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for use in the fabrication of propellant tanks. Friction plug welding is used to seal the exit hole that remains in a circumferential SR-FSW. The objective of this study was to evaluate the deformation response at the tips of cracks located in the heat affected zone of friction plug welds and to study the fracture behavior of welds with defects in the form of fatigue cracks. The study used existing 2014-T6 to 2219-T87 self-reacting friction stir weld panels with 2219-T87 friction plug welds. Electro-discharge machined (EDM) notches were machined into the heat affected zone of the plug at the plug-to-base metal interface. Samples were then cycled to generate a fatigue crack emanating from the notch. After the fatigue crack reached a pre-defined length, a speckle pattern was applied and the ARAMIS system (a three dimensional imaging correlation system) was used to measure the deformations at the crack tip under a sequence of loads. Testing was conducted at ambient laboratory conditions. Fracture data from the testing was analyzed to evaluate residual strength capability of the panel as a function of flaw size. ARAMIS strain data was evaluated to examine strain and deformation patterns that develop around the crack tip and at the plug/weld interfaces. Four samples were used in this study, with three samples in a post-weld heat treated condition. Three samples contained large diameter plugs (M5) and one sample contained a small diameter plug (M3). Two samples were 4 inches in width and two samples were 8.5 inches in width. All samples failed through the precrack with residual strengths ranging from 37 ksi to 42 ksi.